The Story Behind ‘All Day And All Of The Night’ By The Kinks

“All Day and All of the Night” by the Kinks epitomizes teenage angst, a recurring theme from another iconic hit “You Really Got Me.”

During his teenage years, Ray Davies didn’t shy about telling people that he was a rebellious, angry kid. When his childhood sweetheart Sue got pregnant, prompting Ray to ask her hand for marriage, his parents disagreed with it. Instead of slashing his wrists, he instead got up, played a raucous riff from his guitar, and wrote a song out of frustration.

The idea of self-destruction proved advantageous to The Kinks, especially for their song “All Day and All of the Night.” The band proved to be extremely influential when Metallica vocalist James Hetfield brought attention to The Kinks’ impact on the shape of the future bands, during his speech on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction.

When Davies discovered the wonders of guitar distortion, he immediately went to the studio and record the seminal track. By midday the next day, the song is already finished. Ray was incredibly satisfied with the result, but not all of the members agreed to its general complexity. “I wanted a ‘bop-bop-bop’ fill, but Bobby was a bit reluctant to do it. He said I was getting a bit cocky, telling him what to do,” Davies expressed. “But it ended up on the record. I wanted it there because I’d heard it on Buddy Holly’s It’s So Easy and I’d always wanted it to be on one of my records. We had a big argument over it, but in the end, he took it on board.”

Fortunately, it all worked out in the end, and the single proved to be one of the greatest songs of all time. Its arrangement was also noted to be one of the earliest proto-punk descendants that would become a trend in the next decade.

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